According to the old adage, age is just a number, but when it comes to the workplace, not everyone agrees. Workers in Texas and across the United States can be judged unfairly by their age and not by the work that they do. A 58-year-old former SWAT team leader from another state alleges that he was the victim of age discrimination after feeling pressured to leave his position.
The plaintiff had been in law enforcement for 26 years, and he was part of the SWAT team for 21 of those years. Because of his strong qualifications, he was apparently encouraged to participate in anti-terrorist missions. For his outstanding performance in 2013, he was given an award for what he had done during SWAT operations.
The federal court complaint details comments that were made by the deputy chief to a lieutenant in reference to the plaintiff. The deputy chief allegedly commented that the plaintiff was too old and that he should be given his party for his achievement and then go on to other things. Additionally, the deputy chief had purportedly made it known that he wished to have a young team and that those over 40 would soon no longer be part of his team. It is claimed that the plaintiff as well as two others were later approached and asked for their resignations on behalf of the deputy chief.
Under the emotional stress of the situation, the plaintiff felt pressured to resign. He claims he exhausted all other remedies, ultimately filing an age discrimination lawsuit in a federal court. Even though the plaintiff resigned, he can still file a wrongful termination claim due to the apparent circumstances under which he resigned. In his case, he is seeking more than $75,000 for lost wages and emotional distress. Texas workers who are in similar situations have the right to pursue their claims in civil court.
Source: kansas.com, "Wichita officer files age-discrimination lawsuit over removal from SWAT team", Tim Potter, July 2, 2015